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This book addresses both, Science and Technology Studies and Environmental Sociology, problematising the role of the human, breathing, agent who is required to put Ecological Modernisation into practice. This type of agent has been undertheorised by Ecological Modernisation Theory. Ingmar Lippert offers a conceptualisation of such an agent by drawing on relationalist takes on structure and agency, i.e. actor-network theory and Pierre Bourdieu's school of thought. For Ecological Modernisation Theory remaining hegemonic, as his book suggests, it is apt to focus on the agency and constraints in the "doing" of environmental management. By way of a case study in the construction of a glass recycling network, Ingmar Lippert tells a critical story exploring a Bourdieusian conceptualisation of field and habitus in their hybridity to theorise agents of ecological modernisation.
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... Therefore, I ask: How do numbers and data perform in environmental accounting? I find that agents of ecological modernisation (Lippert, 2010a ) practice carbon-as-data. Emissions, in corporate practice, are data entities that are not only used internally for resource governance but also released into discourses of climate change, sustainability and carbon economics. ...
... Therefore, I ask: How do numbers and data perform in environmental accounting? I find that agents of ecological modernisation ( Lippert, 2010a) practice carbon-as-data. Emissions, in corporate practice, are data entities that are not only used internally for resource governance but also released into discourses of climate change, sustainability and carbon economics. ...
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Ecological modernist approaches to climate change are premised upon knowing carbon emissions. I ask how corporate environmental managers know and do carbon, i.e., shape the reality of emissions. I argue that for managers’ practical purposes carbon exists as malleable data. Based on ethnographic fieldwork over a period of 20 months in a Fortune 50 multinational corporation, I show that managers materially-discursively arrange heterogeneous entities – databases, files, paper, words, numbers – in and between office spaces, enabling them to stage emission facts as stable and singular. Employing Annemarie Mol’s work on multiplicity, I show that multiple enactments of carbon hang together not by an antecedent body (CO2) but through ongoing configurations of data practices. Disillusioning promissory economic discourses of ‘internalisation’, I demonstrate: Management is materially premised upon preventing purportedly internalised carbon realities from entering capitalist core processes. This undermines carbon economics’ realist promises. Staging some carbon realities as in control is premised upon managers’ ongoing, reflexive, partial and always situated configuration of, e.g., standards, formal meetings or digital data practices in which humans do carbon-as-data. Carbon practices are materially-discursively aligned, forming a configuration. This configuration effects carbon as a malleable and locally configurable space rather than as a closed fact. Reconstructing managers’ practices as configuring carbon-as-dataspace, I argue, allows grasping adequately the contingency and constraints of managing carbon as a particular material-discursive form of environment. In conclusion I generalise the environmental management office as a space that can be configured to stage, beyond carbon, other global environments as well.
... Ecological 162 modernisation theory posits that more efficient resource use will 163 solve the environmental crisis (Huber, 2008 (Mol, 2010;York and Rosa, 2003). 172 The approach taken in this special issue, in contrast, attends to 173 the actual workers charged with implementing the policy pro- with what we might call 'agents of ecological modernisation' 188 (Lippert, 2010) -agents for, in or against dominant political para-189 digms of the environment, agents whose practical work often 190 enough risks sustaining 'unsustainabilities' (Blühdorn, 2013). 191 Some of the studies in this issue also use this understanding of 192 environmental managers as a generative heuristic, rather than lit-193 erally. ...
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We propose an analysis of environmental management (EM) as work and as practical activity. This approach enables empirical studies of the diverse ways in which professionals, scientists, NGO staffers, and activists achieve the partial manageability of specific “environments”. In this introduction, we sketch the debates in Human Geography, Management Studies, Science and Technology Studies to which this special issue contributes. We identify the limits of understanding EM though the framework of ecological modernization, and show how political ecology and workplace studies provide important departures towards a more critical approach. Developing these further, into a cosmopolitical direction, we propose studying EM as sets of socially and materially situated practices. This enables a shift away from established approaches which treat EM either as a toolbox whose efficiency has to be assessed, or as simply the implementation of dominant projects and the materialisation of hegemonic discourse. Such a shift renders EM as always messy practices of engagement, critique and improvisation. We conclude that studying the distributed and situated managing agencies, actors and their practices allows to imagine new forms of critical interventions.
... This is a politics about what kind of carbon is constructed and, eventually, emitted into social and economic reality. __________ 1 This paper uses the word 'agent' to refer to the notion 'agents of ecological modernisation' which is developed elsewhere (Lippert 2010a; 2010b). 2 While I accept the view that any corporation could in principle green itself to some degree, this view does not address the issue of what happens within the most successful capitalist organisations when they engage with greening. Studying a large player seemed better suited to study those greening activities which were well compatible with capitalist economy at larger scale. ...
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How does a corporation know it emits carbon? Acquiring such knowledge starts with the classification of environmentally relevant consumption information. This paper visits the corporate location at which this underlying element for their knowledge is assembled to give rise to carbon emissions. Using an Actor-network theory (ANT) framework, the aim is to investigate the actors who bring together the elements needed to classify their carbon emission sources and unpack the heterogeneous relations drawn on. Based on an ethnographic study of corporate agents of ecological modernisation over a period of 13 months, this paper provides an exploration of three cases of enacting classification. Drawing on Actor-Network theory, we problematise the silencing of a range of possible modalities of consumption facts and point to the ontological ethics involved in such performances. In a context of global warming and corporations construing themselves as able and suitable to manage their emissions, and, additionally, given that the construction of carbon emissions has performative con-sequences, the underlying practices need to be declassified, i.e. opened for public scrutiny. Hence the paper concludes by arguing for a collective engagement with the ontological politics of carbon.
... 5The notion of agents of ecological modernisation refers to those who are supposed or assumed to put into practice the politics of ecological modernisation (Lippert 2010a;Lippert 2010b). A book is planned to provide a detailed report about the results of this study. ...
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Carbon matters. And it is computed. In a culture. Underlying calculations are configured; and they could be configured otherwise. To open a space for conceptual discussion about carbon, this article attempts to reconstruct the extended and distributed practices of knowing carbon emissions with the help of scholarship from the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) on heterogeneity and qualculation. To that end, the following pages serve to characterise the machinic quality of a specific technology, one which is often construed as a means for reconciling capitalism with “Nature”: the corporate social construction and accounting of carbon dioxide emissions. This allows us to problematise and contextualise the distributed and heterogeneous intelligence assembled by human and non-humans to make intelligible their corporation’s carbon footprint. Politically, engagement with this kind of intelligence is key to a critical understanding of the limits to managing the environment. By engaging empirically with carbon accounting, this article offers a contribution to the analysis of the hegemonic to dealing with environmental issues (ecological modernisation) and illustrates the generative quality of conceptual work on heterogeneous assemblages. These two fields require brief introductions.
... For a more detailed discussion of the theories in relation to the case seeLippert (2010).8 Cf.York and Rosa (2003). ...
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Recycling is a concept, normally taken-for-granted within academic approaches to environmental management. Recognising that recycling should be preceded by reduction of waste and re-use, the science of recycling usually addresses its object as an activity which needs optimising, rather than questioning. My take on recycling differs from the standard one: I focus on possibilities to conceptualise an agent who was responsible for implementing a recycling scheme for her organisation. By way of drawing on sociological theories (especially Bourdieu’s theory of practice and Actor-network theory) I point to significant problems in approaching sustainability. The empirical data consists of ethnographic field work which illustrates societal implications of thinking about transforming organisations towards sustainable conduct: by constructing a recycling scheme the waste manager of the organisation ensures that the organisation does not move towards reducing or altering resource consumption. Rather, she stabilises an unsustainable trajectory and inhibits societal transformation even beyond her organisation. Thus, sociological theory allows for problematising and better grasping of the societal implications and limitations of environmental management.
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In this introduction to out 2012 workshop "How do you manage? Unravelling the situated practice of environmental management", the Environment, Management and Society Research Group guides through the themes of the workshop: Agents, rationales and rationalities; Objects and assemblages; and Performance and imaginaries. The workshop was held at ZiF, Bielefeld, see https://www.researchgate.net/publication/281060205
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This book contributes to an emerging position in the debate on how environmental management can fruitfully be researched. To this end, it employs two texts conceptualising and contextualising environmental management as an object of study. First, by means of a philosophy of science case study on an university course on environmental management, the book problematises the discourse of sustainable development and the hegemonic take on managing environments. Critiquing the shortcomings of the course "Environmental and Resource Management" of Brandenburg University of Technology we offer a conceptualisation of a new academic field, Environmental Management Studies. Such a field would objectify the social realities of environmental management as a practical activity taking place within a messy world. Grounding this field, the book suggests, calls for engaging critically with three broad issues: the history of environmental management, the hegemonic discourse on sustainability and possibilities for radical reforms. Second, by way of historically contextualising environmental management rationalities, the book discusses how radical political theory and policy-making could draw insights from that history. Informed by Richard Grove's account of the relation between imperialism and the emergence of modern ways of controlling natures (1994) the book provides a more reflexive base for Environmental Management Studies in manoeuvres towards the shared goal of a green future for all.
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Combining aspects of Marxist theory, the Frankfurt School, French social theory, and American social science, Marcuse outlines a theory of advanced industrial society in which changes in production, consumption, and culture combine to create a technological society in which thought and labor is restructured in such a way that perpetuates domination and dehumanization. Marcuse argues that this leads to an oversimiplified culture that he refers to as a "one-dimensional society." Reason is used as a method of control in this society. Marcuse outlines simultaneous tensions in society: 1) advanced industrial society is capable of containing qualitative change and 2) forces exist which can break this containment and explode the society.
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This book represents the collected works of Environmental and Resource Management (ERM) Alumni as well as young professionals and researches who are involved in the field of ERM. The connecting theme of these works is the successful implementation of ERM in a wide range of issues including: energy innovation and management, climate change response and sustainable development aspects of resource management in developing countries. This book aims to expose some of the research outputs of ERM Alumni and present perspectives and critical questions of ERM application. The research results can provide empirical bases on which ERM study programmes and/or working environments can be problematised in order to more effectively meet the objectives of ERM. The intended audience of this volume is wide including potential and current ERM students who want to understand how ERM is being applied; and teachers and researchers who want to understand the roles and interactions of ERM Alumni and their workplace.
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This paper outlines a new approach to the study of power, that of the sociology of translation. Starting from three principles, those of agnosticism, generalised symmetry and free association, the paper describes a scientigc and economic controversy about the causes for the decline in the population of scallops in St. Brieuc Bay and the attempts by three marine biologists to develop a conservation strategy for that population. Four "moments" of translation are discerned in the attempts by these researchers to impose themselves and their degnition of the situation on others: Z) problematization-the researchers sought to become indispensable to other actors in the drama by degning the nature and the problems of the latter and then suggesting that these would be resolved if the actors negotiated the "obligatory passage point" of the researchers' program of investigation; G) interessemen- A series of processes by which the researchers sought to lock the other actors into the roles that had been proposed for them in that program; 3) enrolment- A set of strategies in which the researchers sought to degne and interrelate the various roles they had allocated to others; 4) mobilization- A set of methods used by the researchers to ensure that supposed spokesmen for various relevant collectivities were properly able to represent those collectivities and not betrayed by the latter. In conclusion, it is noted that translation is a process, never a completed accomplishment, and it may (as in the empirical case considered) fail.